GOING TO ISRAEL AS A 12 YEAR OLD
I told my parents I didn't want a Bat Mitzvah party. They said fine but next thing I knew I was on a plane to Israel with 9 of my relatives. I was too young to appreciate it.
- •It was over Passover and there wasn't a leavened bread in the land. I was starving the whole time.
- •My older cousins and older sister took to calling me Shawarma for the entire trip.
- •I discovered my cousin Jen had a tongue ring which she kept telling me was a tic tac.
- •My nana's boyfriend Harold floated away in the Dead Sea. My cousins Randy & Roby rescued him.
- •Everyone else did the mud thing but I didn't because I was a stubborn teenager.
- •We went to a kibbutz and I held a puppy.
- •I said my Torah portion on top of a mountain. In braces. And a long sleeve lace top. It was year one of what would be a 7 year awkward phase.
- •I messed up mid-portion and got flustered and started to cry. My family fibbed and said they didn't realize I messed up and thought I was crying because I got emotional with the prayer.
- •I got stud earrings that were of a hand giving the middle finger.
- •I got an Israeli army t-shirt.
- •I was so hungry that I begged to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for a burger. My family was so embarrassed of me but they acquiesced.
- •To this day those cousins still call me Shawarma.
- •Technically I was Bat Mitzvah'd and I don't regret not having the party. I wish I did the mud though.
- •I've never been back to Israel, I didn't go on Birthright, but I did watch the excellent Israeli TV show Srugim (available on Hulu Plus).